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Identity, Opportunity And Equality Essay

1317 words - 6 pages

Virginia Woolf was born January 25, 1882 to an English household in London. Her father was Sir Leslie Steven, a historian and author who was a major figure during the golden age of mountaineering; her mother Julia Prinsep Steven, an India native, nurse and also an author of the profession. With two substantial successors as her parents, Woolf was one of seven siblings granted with majestic opportunities. These opportunities included being educated by her parents. During this time girls were not allowed to go to school and many did not have the privilege of parents whom were able to instil education. Knowing this, Virginia was bound to excel in life. In fact, Woolf utilized her privileged life to her potential. She spent time in numerous locations which she eventually incorporated into a lot of her work and modernist novels such as, Profession for Women. In the essay, Profession for Women Woolf discusses, “the Victorian phantom known as the Angel in the House that selfless, sacrificial woman in the nineteenth century whose sole purpose in life was to soothe, to flatter, and to comfort the male half of the world’s population.” The essay shows how women struggled daily with the views Victorian society placed upon them. The ways of the Victorian era transcended over into the modernist times because some women were too afraid to explore their true selves. However, Virginia did not accept these ways because she knew as a woman she could not be complete if she lived up to the Victorian standards. Woolf determined that unless one has explored and experimented the new things attainable from the world then they also cannot be complete. In this essay, I will be responding to Virginia Woolf’s essay Professions of Women and the struggle of women in this time and now wanting to explore their capabilities by receiving total independence.
Woolf begun her essay referring to herself as an employed woman, “It is true I am a woman; it is true I am employed; but what professional experiences have I had? It is difficult to say” (Woolf). I feel here she was humbling herself to become relatable to the audience and modify her life experiences as not so glamorous. Approaching the Womens Service League (mostly professional women as well), that was a clever move to gain their respect through humility. Once that kind of mood was set she probably gained the attention of the audience and was able to convey the message from her speech so the other women could actually adhere her message. Woolf shares her own personal relations of her parents and how “the man she marries would be as worthy of her as she to him”. “They were to be equal partners”, this only a dream many women during the Victorian and Modernist era dreamed of. The subjects that were spoken throughout the speech were relatable to each women, almost as a piece of her was given to the women through her words. From the disconnection and attraction to her husband, to the sexual abuse from one of her step brothers,...

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